The first paper, Making the Case: Solving the Student Debt Crisis, discusses how student loan debt is a growing portion of the household balance sheet. The burden of student loan debt is causing harm to the financial security of individuals and households, with the disproportionate impacts on low- and moderate-income households and communities of color. The brief outlines goals and solutions for cross-sector action from federal, state, and local policymakers, employers and other stakeholders.

A second paper, How States Can Solve the Student Debt Crisis: A Framework for Reducing Student Debt Burdens for Present and Future Borrowers, highlights how student debt has significant short- and long-term impacts on individuals, their communities and the broader economy, as well as how states have a unique role to play in addressing student loan burdens. The role of states in overseeing public universities, tax and budget powers, and regulatory authority mean that they have a wide array of options to help borrowers with their student loans. This is an issue that affects all states; twenty-one states had averages of student debt over $30,000. Aspen Institute Financial Security Program conducted a scan of possible state solutions to address student loan burdens.

Visit The Aspen Institute Financial Security Program to learn more.